Perhaps you read this account recently in the October 8 edition of Inside Higher Ed. If not, it is well worth your time, along with our thoughts on the state of “speed-to-lead” times in online admissions, and what it all means for your university.
Excerpted from Inside Higher Ed
“Back when Southern New Hampshire University was still a small regional institution with a modest online presence, Paul LeBlanc, the university’s president, called a meeting with his online team.
The group watched as LeBlanc opened the University of Phoenix’s website, filled in a request-for-information form and placed his cellphone on the table. A few moments later, the phone rang. It was a Phoenix representative calling, ready to help the president enroll in an online degree program.
LeBlanc wanted to show his team what they were up against. He understood that “speed-to-lead” times would become paramount in online admissions. Calling potential students 10, 15 or 30 minutes after they submit an inquiry wasn’t good enough.
“We’re not where we need to be,” he said.
That was over a decade ago. SNHU representatives now aim to call prospective students so fast that they don’t have time to click away from the university website. The university typically returns 98 percent of new lead calls in under three minutes.
Speed and efficiency have helped SNHU to grow its online enrollment from 3,000 students in 2003 to around 132,000 students today. “
This timely article highlights a clear reality. The importance of speed-to-lead times hasn’t changed. According to Harvard Business Review, today, there is even a shorter life for online leads. In other words, you could be losing thousands in tuition revenue due to poor response time. According to Velocify, “Companies that try to contact potential customers within an hour of receiving queries are nearly seven times as likely to have meaningful conversations with key decision-makers as firms that try to contact prospects even an hour later. Yet only 37% of companies respond to queries within an hour.”
The evidence is clear. Every minute counts. Immediate response is critical, perhaps even more than in the past. Fortunately, the payoffs are immense for schools that act. At Education Connex, our advice is simple—put your lead-to-contact rate at the top of your to-do list. In fact, it should be your number one priority.
And while you’re at it, make sure you understand the processes and metrics you’re using to achieve your goals. Sales or admissions cadence is the number of interactions you have with a prospect. How quickly does your university follow up on an inquiry with a personalized response? Not sure? What about inbound calls? Are they answered immediately, 24–7 live? Your leads are an expensive resource and crucial to the success of your organization.
But, remember, all leads are not equal. And it’s not the number of leads you have, but what you do with those leads that matter the most. If you’d like to know if, how fast, how often, and how long your team works leads, we can help!
These questions can all be answered with our Free Response Audit, which can make or break a business. Contact us today and let us help you set up your audit. We’ll walk you through every step, and then provide a detailed report telling you how your reps are responding.
Again, it’s free and comes with our promise that you can turn your leads into the success your university deserves.
All the best,